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Rey Chow, Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

Rey Chow
Office Location:  101 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3045
Email Address:  send me a message

Teaching (Spring 2023):

  • Lit 390s-4.01, Sp top in film Synopsis
    Friedl bdg 118, MW 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as AMES 390S.01, ARTSVIS 390S.01, CINE 390S.01, ROMST 390S.01, VMS 390S.01)
  • Lit 617s.01, China as world picture Synopsis
    Friedl bdg 102, MW 03:30 PM-04:45 PM
    (also cross-listed as AMES 616S.01, VMS 616S.01)

  • Ph.D. Stanford University 1986
  • M.A. Stanford University 1982
  • B.A. University of Hong Kong (China) 1979


Critical Theory
Cultural Studies
Research Interests: Literature, film, critical and cultural theory, postcolonial studies

Chow's research comprises theoretical, interdisciplinary, and textual analyses. Since her years as a graduate student at Stanford University, she has specialized in the making of cultural forms such as literature and film (with particular attention to East Asia, Western Europe, and North America), and in the discursive encounters among modernity, sexuality, postcoloniality, and ethnicity. Her book PRIMITIVE PASSIONS was awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize by the Modern Language Association. Before coming to Duke, she was Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University, where she held appointments in the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, and Modern Culture and Media. In her current work, Chow is concerned with the legacies of poststructuralist theory (in particular the work of Michel Foucault), the politics of language as a postcolonial phenomenon, and the shifting paradigms for knowledge and lived experience in the age of visual technologies and digitial media.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)
  1. Chow, R. Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading Between West and East.  University of Minnesota Press, 1991: xvii+198 pages.
  2. Chow, R. Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies.  Indiana University Press, 1993: x + 238 pages.
  3. Chow, R. Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema.  Columbia University Press, 1995: xiv + 252 pages.
  4. Chow, R. Ethics after Idealism: Theory – Culture – Ethnicity – Reading.  Indiana University Press, 1998: xxiii + 236 pages.
  5. Chow, R. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  Columbia University Press, 2002: x + 237 pages.
  6. Chow, R. The Age of the World Target: Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work.  Duke University Press, 2006: x + 128 pages.
  7. Chow, R. The Rey Chow Reader.  edited by Bowman, P Columbia University Press, 2010: xxiii + 289 pages.
  8. Chow, R. Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture.  Duke University Press, 2012.

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